Usually our weekends at The Sun are a little slow as we prepare to hit the ground running on Monday with the kind of in-depth news you expect, but we’ve had everything from caucuses to coronavirus hit our digital pages since we last had a Sunriser, so today’s newsletter is packed and we’ve got no time to waste.
Let’s stockpile these dried beans already, shall we?
The Latest from The Sun
Romanoff wins decisive victory in Democratic U.S. Senate caucuses marred by reporting irregularities
Super Tuesday was in the rearview mirror this weekend as the Colorado Democratic Party held its caucuses — and with them, the first real test of the race for U.S. Senate that could be nearly as impactful as the presidential race. John Frank and Jesse Paul break down Andrew Romanoff’s big victory over John Hickenlooper and the rest of the field and how it does (and doesn’t) matter for the June primary. >> STORY + RESULTS GRAPHICS
+ COUNTY-BY-COUNTY RESULTS, IN EASY-TO-SCAN GRAPHICS: Curious how your county’s caucuses swung? Check out our county-by-county results here.
Coronavirus isn’t going anywhere, so let’s get you caught up.
- MAP: We built a map of the known cases in Colorado that we’re going to be updating as we learn of cases. Keep this handy and check it whenever you’re feeling anxious. >> MAP
- LATEST CASES: As you’ll see in that map, we’re up to eight total cases, isolated in a few places in the state. But as Jesse Paul writes, Colorado’s testing is still just ramping up. >> STORY
- WILL CORONAVIRUS CARE BE EQUAL? Pandemics almost always affect low-income and minority communities disproportionately, and as Michael Booth writes, Colorado’s health and social service officials are striving to make sure that doesn’t happen here in our state. Do not skip this story. >> STORY
- REMOTE LEARNING IS HARDER THAN IT SOUNDS: From Chalkbeat Colorado: The CDC is telling schools to plan for remote learning, but lack of technology, broadband access and other factors mean that most districts aren’t ready. >> STORY
- COLORADO HAS SOLID PLANS, BUT PATCHWORK IN OTHER STATES: From Kaiser Health News, a look at how each state has a different plan for dealing with viral pandemics, and that inconsistency could lead to uneven care. >> STORY
- ARE YOU (OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW) A HEALTH CARE WORKER? We want to hear from you! We’ve set up a special inbox firstname.lastname@example.org and we want to hear all about what it’s like to be on the ground during pandemic prep. We are also on Signal and WhatsApp (search 720-263-2338 in your app) and Protonmail (email@example.com) if you have sensitive information to share.
“I just lost my wife to suicide. And the scary thing is that I’m able to compartmentalize that. It’s something I’ve been trained to do for more than 40 years; to take enormous stress and put it in a place and lock it down and then explore it occasionally. But I’m learning that I’m probably not as good at it as I think I am.”
— Paul Mundt, a participant in the Skiing Off The War program who served 20 years with the U.S. Special Forces
Jason Blevins has a powerful story from the backcountry outside Ridgway, where veterans are getting outside and taking an active approach to dealing with the trauma of war. >> STORY
$5,000 ⬇ $2,500
That’s the drop in Colorado’s tax credits for buying a new electric vehicle car buyers will see next year, right as a whole new generation of electric cars will hit the state’s market. But as Tamara Chuang writes, fewer people have been taking advantage of those credits lately anyway. >> STORY + NUMBERS
Thousands of Colorado workers already earn college credit for their time on the job. But thousands more could.
Laura Seitz, a medical assistant at Associates in Family Medicine in Fort Collins, draws up a medication on Friday. Seitz, who attended Front Range Community College, completed an apprenticeship at the clinic in order to become a medical assistant and was able to skip a few classes because of her experience learning on the job. (Erica Breunlin, The Colorado Sun)
Colorado, even with its low unemployment rate, is still facing a shortage of some skilled labor, including health care workers. Lawmakers are working on a bill that would formalize the ability for students pursuing the degrees they need while getting hands on experience in labs, running heavy equipment or getting their commercial driver’s license. Erica Breunlin has more. >> STORY
Colorado’s most-troubled youth lock-up facility, the site of a riot and multiple escapes, needs a drug dog, staff training
The report released Friday by the Colorado Department of Human Services was redacted.
After pressure from news outlets, including The Sun, the Department of Human Services released a report detailing a consultant’s recommendations for Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center, Colorado’s most dangerous youth lock-up facility. But as Jennifer Brown reports, many of the recommendations were fully redacted, leaving an incomplete picture. >> STORY
More from The Sun
Class 2 misdemeanor
- BILL COULD JAIL GUN OWNERS THAT DON’T SECURE WEAPONS: House Bill 1355, a bill about gun safe storage, would allow prosecutors to charge gun owners who violate the safe storage law to be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor, which can include 364 days in jail and a fine. This is expected to be the most significant gun control measure introduced in the Colorado legislature this year and, expectedly, it’s already drawing blowback from gun rights groups. >> BILL EXPLAINER
- SUNCOR WILL PAY $9M, SOME TO NEIGHBORHOODS, FOR AIR POLLUTION: The refinery — which produces jet fuel, asphalt and about a third of the gasoline consumed in Colorado just north of Denver — will pay the largest fine in Colorado’s history, for, among other things a release in December that left ash covering nearby neighborhoods. Moe Clark has more on how the settlement will work and what other enforcement actions are in place. >> STORY
- GOV’T WATCHDOG FAULTS BLM FOR SENDING JOBS TO COLORADO: The independent Government Accountability Office issued a report that faulted the Trump administration for massive turnover in the Bureau of Land Management in the wake of the agency’s move of headquarter jobs to Grand Junction. >> STORY
- NO DEATH PENALTY IN STEM CASE: The governor is expected to soon sign a bill repealing Colorado’s death penalty, but the case of the STEM shooting in Highlands Ranch was still eligible. DA George Brauchler has said, however, that his office will not be pursuing it against the older of the two teens charged in the attack. >> STORY
From the Opinion Page
- Columnist and attorney Mario Nicolais: “Colorado’s presidential primary was an improvement, but we still need to make some tweaks”
- Colorado People’s Alliance director Lizeth Chacon and Colorado Latino Forum co-chair Ean Tafoya: “As legislature debates new rules, vulnerable Coloradans continue to breathe toxic air”
- Colorado Oil & Gas Association President Dan Haley: “We all breathe the same air. Colorado’s oil and gas employees want to make sure our air is clean”
- Columnist and attorney Craig Silverman: “How did extreme right-wingers take over Colorado’s Republican Party?”
- Real estate agent and Denver Tesla Club head Sean Mitchell: “Coloradans deserve choice when buying a new car. Let customers rule.”
- Colorado GOP vice chairman Kristi Burton Brown: “Hickenlooper’s indecision could sink the Democrats’ ship in Colorado”
- Wheat Ridge photographer Ryan Fitzgerald: “Colorado’s national parks desperately need funding for maintenance”
- Retired chemical engineer Barney Strobel: “Ozone is more serious for Colorado than greenhouse gas emissions”
The Colorado Report
THE BEST JOURNALISM FROM IN AND AROUND THE STATE
// HOW DENVER ’HOODS GOT THEIR NAMES: I’m a sucker for a well-designed infographic, and this one posted by /u/etymologynerd on the Denver subreddit is a perfect example, explaining in short bursts where some of Denver’s more unique neighborhood names came from (like the fact that Ruby Hill was named by miners who didn’t know a ruby from a red rock). // /r/Denver
// AURORA IMMIGRANT CENTER BURGLARIZED: A center for immigrants and refugees said a hammer-wielding man broke into the center to raid file cabinets and possibly made off with a backpack full of paperwork. // Aurora Sentinel
// THE LATEST “ROAD TO NOWHERE” IN NOCO: If there is one thing any rural Northern Colorado resident can tell you with utter confidence is the best strategy to get around a road crossing blocked by a train. But in this really engaging piece (even if you don’t happen to live in La Salle) Cuyler Meade explores a new Weld County road and why it’s causing more problems than it claims to be fixing. >> Greeley Tribune
// SPORTS BAR SUPPORTING SPORTS JOURNALISM: I’ve always wanted to open up a little coffee shop and/or bar as a way to build some revenue for The Sun’s journalism, but the digital sports outlet formerly known as BSN Denver, now DNVR, is one step ahead of me. Westword has more on DNVR’s new bar/studio/headquarters on Colfax Avenue. // Westword
Thanks for reading all the way down on a busy Monday morning. As always, every time you share one of these stories, you help us expand this community of informed Colorado citizens, so don’t be shy!
We’ll see you right back here on Wednesday!